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Thursday, November 10, 2016

EU Reaction to Trump: What’s With the Face?

10.11.2016 Author: Grete Mautner
Column: Politics
Region: Europe
On Tuesday, Donald Trump’s victory has literally shocked all those who were conducting poll after poll both in the US and in Europe. The fact that Trump was able to correctly understand the aspirations of ordinary Americans, both from rural and industrial regions, was hard to comprehend for various political circles on both sides of Atlantic. Now he’s riding a wave of discontent that was unleashed by the failed policies of the Democrats.
This development has taken most European politicians aback since they were already forming a line to pledge their obedience to Hillary Clinton and the neocon crowd along with her. Target confusion is the best way to describe the events that are unravelling now in the EU, since the assessments of the situation in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America have always been made around here in a way that would please Washington, and what European politicians are supposed to tell now? It’s also unclear should the EU carry on its blatant propaganda war against Russia, China, Iran and other adversaries of Washington or not.
A sort of a special diligence has always been shown by the ruling elites of Paris, London, Berlin, Brussels, and a number of Eastern European countries, that were most willing to cast a stone or two in the direction that Washington was pointing. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that those elites prepared a special greeting for Clinton beforehand only to end being utterly puzzled.

Without a doubt, the Eastern European countries are deeply concerned about Trump’s victory, as the newly elected president has not simply promised to improve US relations with Russia, but has also promised to take steps against those European countries that do not fulfill their financial obligations to NATO. According to Trump, those state won’t have the right to enjoy the privilege of the fifth paragraph of the NATO Charter – the guaranteed US armed assistance in case their territory is to be attacked.
Most European media sources agree that the all-in bet on Hillary’s victory is one of the graves mistakes that European political analysts have made. It can easily be compared to their reluctance to assume that Brexit would be an option for the UK population, so Trump’s victory, as he has put it himself, is a “Brexit plus, plus, plus.”
The absolute majority of European media sources carry on vilifying Trump, as if they were ignorant of the fact that he’s the next US President already. The Der Spiegel has been released “Destroyer’s victory” headline written in bold letters all across the page. Another German journal – Stern is not ashamed to admit that Germany has received the US presidential election results with “surprise, anxiety and panic.” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Lyayen has even stated that she is still in “deep shock”, while Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel described Trump’s victory as a warning to all Europeans. The President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz has alrady predicted a difficult times in EU relations with America. In turn, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Trump to “respect democratic values”, yet it is unlikely that she would forget his remark about Merkel’s immigration policies destroying Germany any time soon.
Handelsblatt would run the title of “The President you Would Never Imagine” for one of its articles. The media source would claim that if Trump fulfills at least a half of his promises, nothing on the face of this planet would be the same again, both from political, economic and cultural points of view.
One of the most popular media sources in Germany, Die Zeit is clearly expressing the thoughts of its ruling elites, noting that for a long time Trump “used to be a bad joke”, but now he’s much worse, the newspaper argues, he’s “the worst nightmare that would be haunting the world of international politics for years.”
The respected Sueddeutsche Zeitung would state that President Trump is a perfect example how worst fears become a reality. A French ambassador to Washington, Gerard Araud called Trump’s victory a veritable disaster, noting “we are witnessing the world being destroyed.” French President Francois Hollande also expressed disappointment with the US election results that would “open a period of uncertainty.” Under these conditions, Hollande noted, “Europe must get united.”
The Libération in a manner of criticizing everything that is not French that Frenchmen are known for across the world, would provide a pretty hysteric overview of the unravelling events, “the world was plunged into complete obscurity, and one is only left with endless questions about the consequences of the choice America made, while the answers one may find are trully nightmarish.”While the Figaro that has always been expressing the mood of the ruling French political elites would go as far as calling the next US president “a threat to global equilibrium.”
The Financial Times would note that Donald Trump has won a stunning victory over Hillary Clinton, wrongfooting investors around the world. The victory by the political outsider, amplified by a Republican sweep of the Senate and House of Representatives, marks a repudiation of Barack Obama that was fuelled by a backlash against globalisation in the wake of the global financial crisis.
The Guardian notes that Donald Trump shattered expectations on Tuesday with an election night victory that revealed deep anti-establishment anger among American voters and set the world on a journey into the political unknown.
The Polish Gazeta Wyborcza was pretty hysterical about Trump’s victory as well, noting that the world that we know has been changed to the worse and this development threatens the stability of the West as a whole
One can only hope that a string of harsh publications that European media sources would publish to show the discontent of the European elites will not be forgotten by neither Trump, nor his advisors when they are to form a new approach towards the EU. This must be clearly understood in Paris, Berlin and other European capitals, that, ironically, are also heading towards election times.
Grete Mautner is an indepenent researcher and journalist from Germany, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.

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